Cell Phone Policy Takes Aim at Distractions

Same Rule Will be at Gretna East


Phone caddies are present throughout GHS. This one is in the library.

Towards the end of the first semester, it was revealed to students that once they returned from winter break there would be a new cell phone policy waiting for them. Rather than being given the freedom of limiting their own phone usage in class, students are now required to put their phones in a “phone caddy” for at least 45 minutes of their 50 minute class, leaving the final five to use their phones if allowed.
“What we are trying to do overall is get better at what we do during those 50 minutes,” principal Mr. Todd Mueller said. “Fifty minutes is not a lot of time so we need to make use of that time.”
Originally the policy was introduced in hopes of encouraging more academic time and to remove the distraction of personal technology. The rule was created because cell phones have been a consistent problem in the school.
“Continued issues with cell phones were disrupting learning in class,” Mr. Mueller said. “I got extremely tired of dealing with it.”
Although this policy seems to be succeeding in what it was meant to do, and most students have been compliant, there are many who aren’t happy about the change.
“I think it is fair to the people who are on their phones too much,” senior Jaxon Lund said. “But I am not a very big fan of the new rule.”
The policy includes little to no exceptions. Students can not use their phones for things such as audiobooks, music, calculators and other academic tools. These are a few of the reasons why many are upset about the new rules.
“If we start off making a bunch of exceptions we are going to have to make more and more,” Mr. Mueller said. “We are doing no exceptions at all to start, but down the road we might make some adjustments.”
Many of the teachers were very excited with the new policy because it lowers the distractions during classes, according to Mueller. They get more time to teach their students who now pay more attention in their classes.
“When I came up with the idea it was probably mid-first semester,” Mr. Mueller said. “The teachers were really happy about the new rule.”
Administration also plans on using the policy at Gretna East High School when it opens next fall. Although the new phone regulations have caused some debates within the school, it is here to stay with no sign of changing anytime soon.